Tabcorp Warned over In-Play Betting by ACMA
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has given Tabcorp a formal warning after the betting operator was fond to have accepted 37 illegal online in-play bets on a US college basketball game.
Online in-play betting is banned in Australia under the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. Following a complaint, the ACMA investigation found that Tabcorp accepted 37 such bets on 3 January 2021. According to ACMA member Fiona Cameron, this is the first time that the ACMA has taken action against an operator for accepting in-play bets.
According to Tabcorp, it failed to stop taking bets in time due to incorrect match information from a third-party provider and a technical error by Tabcorp. When the mistake was realized, Tabcorp paid out the winning bets and refunded all losing bets. However, one bet was only refunded once the ACMA had started its investigation.
According to Cameron, the ACMA’s enforcement approach took into account how Tabcorp dealt with the illegal bets and its commitment to improving its systems and processes. Other enforcement options include penalties under an infringement notice and the application by the ACME to a Federal Court for a civil penalty or injunction.
Cameron explained that the ACMA believes Tabcorp should not have paid out winning bets and that all illegal bets should have been voided so that no one benefited from them. She said that the industry must have systems in place to prevent in-play betting and that the ACMA will investigate evidence of non-compliance.
Cameron added, “If we find breaches of the rules caused by genuine mistakes, in any enforcement response we will take into account whether an operator has voided rather than paid out illegal winning bets.”